Worship Alone, Worship Together

Which one is more profound for you?  For me, I am usually more prone to an intense religious experience while I am alone.  In a group, I tend to worry about logistics of the ritual, people and group dynamics, almost to the point of forgetting why we’re there.

Beltane.  Probably the most well known celebration of the pagan community, the most joyous, the most public.  We all know the imagery, regardless of tradition of experience: may poles and beltane bonfires, dancing and mead and making merry.

Now the question that I have regarding group vs individual ritual is one which may perhaps be unique to my tradition and path, alone.  Am I able to celebrate with others whom I do not know well or intimately?  What will their energy, mixing with mine, create in coming days?  Will it provide a positive influence?

Of course, this comes up upon being invited to a Beltane ceremony.  I tend not to practice with others as a general rule, because one of our golden rules happens to be, “If you wouldn’t have sex with them, you shouldn’t be in circle with them.”

That, of course, limits my choices.  Yet, what about non-circle celebrations?  Do we, in effect, create an informal circle?  Is it the group dynamics which influence you so heavily, or is it the reflectiveness within the circle that causes  the influence?

I’ll contemplate this more when I am not in class.


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